June, 2006

Hi Folks!

It's been more than six years since we sent out our last newsletter by snail mail, so I guess it’s about time for another general update from the Adams family.   Some of you have received e-mails about our various adventures, but others haven't, so this will just be a brief summary of what's been happening in recent years.

Your cards, letters and e-mails have been much appreciated, but now that I’ve hit the half-century mark, I can’t seem to accomplish as much as I did in my younger years.  I realize that many of you are older than me, and 50 may seem quite young to you!

1997 – We moved out of our home at Linda Vista College in Chiapas, Mexico when my health began to deteriorate from overwork.  Also, the political situation became unstable with the Zapatista Rebel movement and frequent bandit attacks.

We built a house on my parents’ 120 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothill community of Mosquito, near Placerville, California.  That summer we planted an orchard of 36 fruit & nut trees, as well as grapes, berries, a vegetable garden and flowers.

2000 – Daniel spent the school year living with my sister Lanita Medina’s family in Maine, where he attended a very small church school, graduating from 8th grade in 2001.  These are his classmates.

Here's a recent photo of my sister Lanita and her family: Ben, Kandice, Norman, Kami Kay, Hugs (the dog), Krista & Lanita Medina.  
Norman's original plan was to have a dozen kids, but I think they were happy to stop at 4, especially with today's high tuition costs!

2001 – We led a caravan of volunteers 1,000 miles through Mexico on an unforgettable mission trip to remote San Lorenzo in the mountains of Chiapas.  Medical, dental and construction work kept everybody busy.

Drizzly rains on the clay roads created slippery excitement as we departed, sliding all over the place, at times only inches from drop-offs.  Real fun!  We enjoyed visiting old friends at Colegio Linda Vista before returning to the U.S.

In August, Daniel began his Freshman year at Weimar Academy.  He loved it there – except for the schoolwork!  Oh yes - the discipline was very strict there!  Miss Bosarge, the Principal was very loving and caring - but firm!

2002 – We led another caravan of vehicles through Mexico to San Carlos Bay, Sonora for our annual Mission Projects, Inc. board meeting.  Insurance provided me with a new Ford E-250 handicap van, as my first one was worn out after driving 235,000 miles in 15 years.  We drove across the U.S. to Maine to visit my sister Lanita and her family.

I also got a TracAbout motorized chair at the factory in Newton, Kansas – it runs on tracks and takes me places no wheelchairs can go – mud, sand, water, snow, up and down steep hills – I love it!

During the summer of 2002, Daniel sold books in Salt Lake City.  He found the job challenging, yet rewarding.  He really matured emotionally and spiritually during that experience.  Then he began his second year at Weimar Academy.

2003 – I couldn’t resist another mission trip to Mexico.  So again we led another caravan to San Lorenzo, Chiapas in south Mexico.

Sixty volunteers did medical, dental and construction work, putting up six classrooms in five days.  Again we enjoyed visiting our friends at Linda Vista again – a University now!

Daniel sold books in southern California during the summer, then attended DayStar Adventist Academy during his Junior year near Moab, Utah.

DayStar is a great place for high-energy kids – it's a working farm where they also do campouts, mountain biking, rappelling, snowboarding, rafting, horseback riding, extreme hikes, community service, work experience all over the campus . . .

. . . and yes, a lot of schoolwork too!  The staff there are a great bunch of people.

2004 – We stayed home this year, but helped organize a mission trip to Pantepec, Chiapas, where all my close relatives and 40 other volunteers turned a cow barn into a church.  They also built another church, remodeled a third, made church benches, pulled teeth, distributed eyeglasses, did medical consults & surgeries, had VBS for the kids, held evangelistic meetings, visited many villages distributing clothes, toys and shoes – all in one week!

Daniel got his driver's license at age 19, and as with any young person, he really loves the freedom of being able to go places . . . 

. . . but I'm a terrible back-seat driver!

Daniel had lots of fun during his Senior year at DayStar Academy.  He matured a lot, learned many leadership skills and did very well for someone with Dyslexia and ADD.

2005 – We were all proud of Daniel when he graduated from DayStar Academy in May, after struggling through the academic challenges.  His graduation outfit was quite unique to the area!  Afterwards we went rappelling in the LaSal mountains above the school – and we all had a blast!

After doing yard work for neighbors and saving up money, he went to Maine and got his Private Pilot’s license - within five months!  It was a dream come true as he worked toward his goal of becoming a mission pilot.

Through hard work and the kindness of the Fernald family where he trained, Daniel was able to have his bill paid in full - at the very last moment, thanks to an unexpected contribution from friends.

Jim Conrad, a hermit naturalist originally from Kentucky, spent six months with us, helping in the garden, exploring nature in our area and teaching me how to create web pages.

2006 – Daniel went to Venezuela for 10 weeks, where he got firsthand experience in mission aviation flying with Bob Norton.  He also participated in Union College’s International Rescue and Relief program, serving as translator, learning jungle medicine, swift-water rescue and much more.  He got to explore Angel Falls (the worlds’ tallest) and climbed Mount Roraima, a 9,000 foot mesa containing plant and animal species found nowhere else on the planet!

He also enjoyed flying with David Gates, who is involved in a wide variety of mission projects around the world.  

In April, Daniel returned in California, working to earn funds for further training in aviation, rescue and relief work.

Meanwhile, year by year Diana and I keep busy at home with a variety of everyday tasks – I at the computer, Diana in the garden and kitchen.

I’m still providing communication for Mission Projects, Inc. (MPI) in Mexico, updating our family web site with our latest family adventures, and being Daniel’s home base communications support.  Summers keep us busy canning cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears and applesauce.  We’re also blessed for 10 days each summer as we attend Redwood Campmeeting near Eureka. 

And we enjoy being active members of the Camino Seventh-day Adventist church, where Diana plays her flute and I have fun telling children’s stories, sharing mission presentations, and fellowshipping with like-minded friends during potlucks, campouts, etc.

My parents keep busy gardening, cutting firewood, and keeping their old vehicles running.  At 85, my dad still enjoys taking "young" ladies for a ride in this 1930 Model A Ford Roadster he bought used when he was a teenager.  And it runs just fine!

On June 4 Daniel invited a group of friends of all ages to celebrate his 21st birthday.  He had Mexican food, water fights, a pińata, and rides in Grandpa's 1928 Ford Model AA truck.  We all enjoyed sharing this special day together!

On June 15, Daniel left home for his next adventures - SCUBA training in Florida for 12 days, then on to Lincoln, Nebraska for intensive flight training.  He's working towards getting his Instrument, Commercial and a variety of other flight ratings.  He's logged 90 flying hours so far, and needs to accumulate 500 or more hours so he can achieve his goal of becoming a real mission pilot. 
He also plans to get his certifications in a wide variety of rescue situations so he can be qualified to assist in any kind of disaster.  God has provided financially through a variety of unexpected sources for Daniel to get this far, and he plans to continue moving forward as God opens the doors.  He’s aiming to complete his training within the next year or two, eager to get into full-fledged mission, rescue and relief work wherever God calls him.

Diana and I especially appreciate our peaceful, quiet life surrounded by forest trees, breathing pure air and watching a wide variety of wildlife.  Well, an exception might be the foxes that steal fruit from our trees and gophers that gobble up our vegetable garden!  

We also see deer, jackrabbits, skunks, raccoons, weasels, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, bears, and a nice variety of birds.  Spring brings a colorful array of greenery and wildflowers, then we get many months of dry, hot weather which leaves much of the vegetation dead and very flammable.  Cool night breezes are a real blessing at our ridgetop location!

We always enjoy hearing from our friends and relatives, so keep us on your e-mail lists!  We'll be adding more adventures to our family web site at www.AdamsAmigos.net which you may wish to bookmark for future reference.
Best Regards,
Fred, Diana & Daniel Adams
Placerville, California

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